Say Seng Tau Kwa Pau at Dunman Food Centre
To be frank, before Say Seng Tau Kwa Pau, I had never heard of tau kwa pau in my life. I’m a lover of all things deep fried and savoury. So to say my interest was piqued when I came across this hawker stall at Dunman Food Centre would be an understatement. After some research, I discovered that this Teochew-Nyonya delicacy is actually a diminishing food item among hawker stalls today. Hence, I wasted no time and headed down for some good chow.
Food at Say Seng Tau Kwa Pau
As we wanted to try every item the stall offers, we decided to go for their Mixed Platter ($10 for two people). Ladled in a viscous, deep brown gravy is a combination of braised duck, pork belly, fried yam, pig intestines, and a hard-boiled egg sliced in half. To complete our meal, we also ordered two plates of white rice ($0.50 per plate), which came drizzled with the tasty gravy as well.
As a big fan of pig intestines, I dove straight in for that first. I liked that it did not have a strong porky taste and instead contained a nice duck essence from soaking in the braised duck gravy. Texture-wise, the innards were a little stiff and difficult to chew.
I tried the braised duck next. Enhanced by the aromatic gravy, the meat was rich in flavour. However, I did find the duck to be rather tough. This came as a disappointment, as I had expected the duck to be tender at the very least. On the other hand, I quite enjoyed the soft and tasty pork belly, where the fatty layer easily melted in my mouth.
I was most hesitant in trying the fried yam, as I’d never liked yam. Surprisingly, this, coupled with the pork belly, proved to be the highlight of the mixed platter. Lightly battered in flour, the deep fried yam had a pleasantly crispy exterior and chewy texture. In fact, I had to do a double take to confirm that it was indeed yam. It tasted nothing like the mushy tuber that disgusts me so much. In fact, I found it rather comparable to french fries! I ended up finishing it all, right down to the “paiseh” piece.
I was most ecstatic to try the hawker stall’s main dish, which is none other than their Tau Kwa Pau ($1.50). In case you were wondering, tau kwa pau actually stands for ‘beancurd bun’, and just like a stuffed bun, the tau kwa was loaded with delicious filling.
Oddly enough, the tau kwa pau from Say Seng Tau Kwa Pau has most of its filling on the outside. The filling consisted of everything found in the mixed platter, except that they were chopped up into bite-sized pieces. The dish was similarly slathered in braised duck sauce, which brought out the flavour in what would have otherwise been a rather bland-tasting tofu.
I’d like to give a special mention to the house-made chilli. I was truly impressed by the tangy, sourish dip that gave the food a fiery punch.
Ambience at Say Seng Tau Kwa Pau
As Say Seng Tau Kwa Pau is located on the ground floor of the two-storey food centre, the atmosphere below was rather dark and damp. For better lighting and scenery, take your meal up to the second floor instead. Additionally, I found the service to be quite good. Due to miscommunication, our order was messed up the first time round – we ordered the braised duck by mistake. However, after notifying our server, he quickly remedied the situation by replacing the dish with the mixed platter at no additional charge.
Moreover, our food was prepared and ready for collection almost immediately. So you can rest assured that there will hardly be a waiting time upon placing your order.
Apart from the duck and pig intestines being a little tough, I generally enjoyed my meal. The tau kwa pau wasn’t exceptional, but neither was it distasteful; it was a unique dish that was fun to try. One slight setback might be the cost of the mixed platter, which I found rather expensive for its portion size.
All in all, this is the kind of stall I’d bring my family to for a hearty meal – also because then we’d have enough money to pay for a larger share of food. If I’m not living in Hougang, I’d probably come here more often.
For similar places to eat at, check out our list of kway chap and organ soup stalls you should visit and our review of Wei Ji Braised Duck, a braised duck stall managed by a young hawker in her twenties!
Address: 271 Onan Road, #01-05, Dunman Food Centre, Singapore 424768
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 7am to 5pm
Tel: 9488 7736
Say Seng Tau Kwa Pau is not a halal eatery.
This is an independent review by Eatbook.sg